Why choir’s new work has the Goldie touch

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Since forming in 2007, Eccles based choir andante have become synonymous with tackling a diverse range of music but their latest project takes things to a new level.

On Sunday, August 30 the ensemble will travel to Glasgow Cathedral to take part in the final event of the 12th century Hawick Missal ‘Fragments Project’.

The choir have already performed works in Jedburgh, Kelso and Melrose for the initiative, premiering a new piece of music at each concert.

And for their Glasgow performance they will perform with a man who with an eclectic musical background, is the perfect fit for a choir like andante.

Goldie first created waves in the UK music industry in the early 90s with his own brand of drum and bass which spawned singles like ‘Inner City Life’ from the album ‘Timeless’.

But despite drum and bass music being a completely different kettle of fish to choral music, it didn’t take long for Goldie’s classical influences to rise to the surface.

The opening track of his 1998 album ‘Saturnz Return’ was an hour long orchestral piece and a decade later Goldie, who has been in ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and even ‘Eastenders’, indulged his passion for classical music when he appeared on BBC 2’s ‘Maestro’.

The show saw a group of celebrities train to be conductors and Goldie made it all the way to the final, eventually losing out to Sue Perkins.

andante’s director John Stone was one of many people who enjoyed the show so he is very excited about getting to perform one of Goldie’s compositions.

“The community arts organisation who organised the first three Fragments events put the feelers out to him writing something for the project,” John explained.

“He agreed and what he has come up with is quite fantastic.

“It’s an amalgamation of what we performed at the Borders Fragment events woven around an atmospheric score akin to a film soundtrack which Goldie produced electronically.

“I will admit that other than him being on ‘Maestro’ I didn’t know too much about Goldie but after doing some research I found that he is a man that has a lot of interests and influences.

“I saw him on TV just the other week talking about an art exhibition.

“He is going to come up to Glasgow for the performance. As with every composer whose work we take on I’m looking forward to meeting him but of course there’s the added pressure of him seeing us perform his composition.”

andante are never a choir to shy away from a challenge with their diary often throwing up some interesting appointments, most recently to accompany a dance event at Dryburgh Abbey.

“There is nothing wrong with doing an ordinary choral concert but I think doing something different now and again keeps our interest alive.

“I’m always excited by the range of range of material we cover; we definitely don’t restrict ourselves when it comes to the type of performances we give and projects we get involved with.

“We started as an acapella choir of 12 but we’ve expanded over the years.

“We have a core membership but we also have a number of singers who guest perform with us

“I think the fact we have such a diverse repertoire and get involved with many different things helps to attract people to join.”